Oprah gives your product an Instagram Like … your orders explode.

Katy Perry RTs your Tweet – brand recognition into the stratosphere.

3.5 billion people the world over use social media. Facebook alone has 2.32 billion active monthly users. It’s a huge potential customer base at your fingertips – and it ain’t just for the big boys.

If you’re only using social media to catch up on the news and watch cat videos, you’re really missing out on a great way to improve your marketing – so here are the answers to your burning questions…

Why should my business use social media?

Right, hands up – who spent way too much time trawling through Facebook and Instagram through lockdown? Who fell into a bottomless pit of TikTok dances and weird recipe videos?

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, pretty much all of us consume social media every day – so why wouldn’t you use it to market your business? So many brands are turning away from expensive, time-consuming methods of traditional marketing like print and TV, and ploughing their budgets into social instead. It’s where your audience is – time to get social.

OK, so what are the best social platforms for my business?

So, the big five social platforms for small businesses are:

Seems like too much to maintain? Well, the good news is you don’t have to use EVERY platform available to you – just pick the ones that work best for what your business needs…

Facebook makes it easy for small businesses to build their brand identity. You can interact with customers, share promotions and special offers, even build, and run local and regional ad campaigns.

Twitter is also great for brand identity and building up a strong reputation. Twitter is the most relied upon social media platform for news – take advantage of that!

LinkedIn has long been the social media platform for professional networking and making connections with other businesses. It’s also a great platform for sharing video content.

Instagram is the most visual platform, perfect for promoting your brand, your values, personality, and story. Share short videos, images, and stories. Let the world know what you’re up to.

YouTube is a great video platform to post ‘how to’ content or answer questions and share what life’s really like working in a small business, building brand awareness.

TikTok became a major hit over lockdown, but unless you have a spare five or six hours and endless amounts of patience to make a video, leave it to the kids.

What should my business be posting on social?

What does your business WANT to be posting on social? Although there’s plenty of best practice for running social accounts to keep in mind, like creating a content calendar to make sure you’re getting posts out there, the sky’s pretty much the limit.

We all love a brand with a strong tone of voice and brand presence. Innocent Smoothies is a classic example – it’s funny, a bit ridiculous and not afraid to take risks with its content. Equally, brands like Lloyd’s Bank are also putting out great content, but theirs is reassuring and informative.

It’s about figuring out what makes your business unique and showing it off to the world. But the golden rule of content? Make it engaging. Give the people what they want. Make it something that will stop them scrolling.

What about using influencers?

Influencers get a bad rep – we’ve all seen those emails asking for free meals in exchange for ‘exposure’ – but in reality, they can do great things for your business. Why? Well, because sometimes we get sick of being sold stuff by brands – of COURSE they’re going to tell us that their product is the best thing since sliced bread. But influencers? Well, yes, they’re still selling to us, but it brings in a bit more authenticity.

Plus, influencers literally create content for a living, so give them a brief and they can dream up something that will direct traffic straight to you and look great on your social feed.

If you want so start bringing influencers on board, first have a think about who you’re trying to target. If your business sells building equipment, you’re probably not going to want someone from last year’s Love Island pushing your products. Search through hashtags to find who is posting similar content, look at who is engaging with similar brands.

Once you’ve found your influencers, reach out to them with who your brand is, why they’d be a great fit, what you need from them and, most importantly, what they can expect in return. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘they’re just taking and posting a picture, why should I pay them/give them products?’ – they’re a valuable asset to businesses, so treat them like you would other marketing professionals.

Is social media worth the hassle?

Absolutely! But you’re not going to post one picture and then blow up overnight (unless you’re REALLY lucky). It takes time, patience and a lot of trial and error. Not really feeling it? Then you’re in luck – SmartPA happens have loads of amazing social media strategists who can take it off your hands.

Contact us today to find out more.